“I didn’t want to write a song about you, yeah/ In case it was too good to be true” is a genius opening line to a song (True), with its multiple meanings and reflexive ironies. You can hear that Bethany Cosentino is proud of it, because she really drags out its delivery, almost to the point that its punchy brilliance is lost. What’s disappointing about Best Coast’s first album in five years is that not much else feels as shocking or powerfully true.
This is Cosentino’s first set of sobriety songs, but not enough of the shame or damage that must have attended her decision to give up drinking informs the duo’s politely executed indie rock. “If everything’s OK/ Then what the hell do I complain about?”, from the outstanding song Everything Has Changed, says it all. Written at one of Cosentino’s low ebbs, tormented by writer’s block and booze, it flags an issue that is wrestled with yet never resolved by this solid but unchallenging album. Great art doesn’t have to come from a place of great discomfort, but it often helps. Always Tomorrow always chooses cosseting its audience over confronting more painful truths.